Archive | September 13th, 2011

RACIST ZIONIST ANTHONY COOPER LIES AND MANIPULATION

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Community Radio Providing Platform for Publisher of Racist Material
Executive Summary Mr Sammi Ibrahem is a radio presenter for Unity FM,

a community radio station in Birmingham. He hosts a weekly discussion and

debate show entitled “Face the Nation”. Mr Ibrahem also operates the Shoah.org.uk

website which publishes material from known racists and Holocaust deniers.

As a result of these activities he was expelled as Chair of the West Midlands Palestine

Solidarity Campaign. Mr Ibrahem, Unity FM and Shoah.org.uk

Sammi Irbrahem presents the “Face the Nation” radio show every Thursday

between 5pm and 6pm1. On 16th June 2011 he interviewed Gilad Atzmon. In a

report about that interview on 21st June, Mr Atzmon said2:

On June 16 I was guesting with Palestinian activist, Sammi Ibrahem, on his radio show on Unity

FM, Birmingham. I was looking forward to meet Sammi, who is the man behind the invaluable

shoa.org.uk, a site dedicated to the Palestinian Holocaust.

Shoah.org.uk and Racism

The Holocaust Educational Trust released the following comment with regards

to the Shoah.org.uk website3:

Using the word ‘Shoah’ in this context is done with the sole intention of causing offence

to Holocaust Survivors, their families and the wider Jewish community and shows the

greatest possible disrespect to the tragedy of the Holocaust.

The word Shoah is the Hebrew word for the Holocaust, in which 6 million

European Jews were murdered.

Mr Ibrahem was at one time the Chair of the West Midlands Palestine Solidarity

Campaign (WMPSC). However, as a result of his involvement with the

shoah.org.uk website he was removed from that post. The WMPSC’s new Chair,

Naeem Malik, posted the following comment in response to revelations about

Mr Ibrahem4:

1 http://www.unityfm.net/index.php?

option=com_events&task=view_detail&agid=165&year=2008&month=09&day=01&Itemid=98

2 http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/gilad-atzmon-with-sammi-ibrahem-unity-fm.html

3 http://www.het.org.uk/media/press/Press%20comment%20-%20Shoah.org.uk.doc

4 http://hurryupharry.org/2011/09/01/chair-of-west-midlands-palestine-solidarity-campaign-

runs-neo-nazi-revisionistsite/

Sammi Ibrahim is no longer the Chair of the West Midlands PSC. In fact I am the Chair

of the West Midlands PSC.

In March the West Midlands PSC discovered some of the postings on the Shoah

website were racist and anti-Semitic. The West Midlands PSC, at a specially convened

meeting on the 21st of March 2011 removed Sammi from the post of the Chair and I

was appointed in his place.

The shoah.org.uk website has published material from known racists and

Holocaust deniers. These include David Duke a former Grand Wizard of the Ku

Klux Klan5 and Ernst Zundel, convicted Holocaust Denier6. An article published

on the site, written by Anthony Lawson, states7:

Having been tortured, Rudolf Höss, who was the commander of Auschwitz from 1940 to

1943, almost certainly lied to save the lives of his wife and children. Even if torture and

duress cannot not [sic] be proven, the overwhelming reason for recognizing the utter

falsity of the Höss confession is that the gassing method he described was not

scientifically plausible.

An article posted on 2nd May 2011 posted by Sammi Ibrahem is entitled “The

accusation of anti-Semitism has long passed its sell-by date: Anthony Lawson.”

8 Mr Ibrahem adds that the article:

is a very good interview abu [sic] “Anti-Semitism”

In the interview Mr Lawson is quoted as saying:

it seems that there is no solid evidence that Germany put in train a plan to

systematically murder Jews using gas chambers.

These are some examples of the Holocaust denial that is posted on the website

by Sammi Ibrahem.

Conclusion

The evidence strongly indicates that Sammi Ibrahem operates the

shoah.org.uk website which regularly publishes material from known racists

and Holocaust deniers. Mr Ibrahem has been expelled from the Palestine

Solidarity Campaign as a result of his posting anti-Semitic material. Yet at the

5 http://www.shoah.org.uk/2011/07/31/letter-to-the-courageous-former-israeli-gilad-atzmon/

6 http://www.shoah.org.uk/2011/06/15/nuremberg-the-crime-that-will-not-die-part-i/

7 http://www.shoah.org.uk/2011/03/24/holocaust-hate-speech-were-the-germans-so-stupid/

8 http://www.shoah.org.uk/2011/05/02/the-accusation-of-anti-semitism-has-long-passed-its-sell-

by-date-anthonylawson/

same time he is provided a platform by Unity FM radio station.

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Anthony Cooper & his dirty Racist Zionist Lies & Deceit

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Letter from Zionist Anthony Cooper to UnityFM

Dear Mr Shafiq,

It has recently come to my attention that one of your presenters, Mr Sammi Ibrahem, operates a website that regularly posts racist material including Holocaust denial. Mr Ibrahem runs the shoah.org.uk website and as a result was expelled from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, after having been the Chair of the West Midlands branch. Please find attached a short report outlining the evidence against Mr Ibrahem.

I’m confident that you do not wish Unity FM to be in any way linked to Holocaust denial and racism. In your “Key commitments annual report form” submitted to OFCOM, you wrote that Cohesion with other faiths is “a key area of work for Unity FM” and that you had had “contributions from scholars especially from Christian backgrounds as well as Jewish rabbis.” Clearly, providing a platform to a man who publishes Holocaust denial and racism is bound to damage that cohesion, especially with members of the Jewish faith.

I’m writing to ask that you remove Mr Ibrahem’s slot immediately, now that you have become aware of his racist activities. I’m sure that you abhor any kind of racism and would not want to provide a platform to someone who holds views such as those published by Mr Ibrahem.

Many Thanks

Anthony Cooper

————————————

Sammi Ibrahem Letter to UnityFM in regard to Racist  Zionist Cooper Lies and Deceit’s

09.09.2011

Dear  Dr Shafiq 

I just read the letter sent to you by Zionist Anthony Cooper. I did not post any racist material on Shoah this is a typical Zionist lie the site shoah refers to the Zionist as Zio-Nazi and Israel as IsraHell which is clearly upset Zionist Cooper I’m fully aware of who is Zionist Cooper in response to his racist letter i would like to clarify the following:

1.I do not run or own the site shoah.
2. I did not post any racist material as claimed by liar Cooper.
3.I do read Shoah daily.
4. PSC did not expel me I refused to attend a meeting to be questioned about Shoah by PSC..

Please Can Zionist Cooper provide evidence of my ownership or direct link to Shoah.
Can you please ask Zionist Cooper to identify himself i.e his address you are aware that people can create e-mail with fake names.

Yours Sincerely
Sammi Ibrahem
* Can Racist Zionist read Shoah DISCLAIMER :
”THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN THIS WEBSITE ARE THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE AUTHORS (s) AND NOT NESESSARILY REFLECT THOSE OF SHOAH”   
————————————————-
According to the Facebook group of Brent PSC, it was founded by three people including Maha Rahwanji who now acts as the voice of the Facebook group. The group is really a fake person called “Brent Psc”. They have lots of “Activities and Interests”. One of these is the cause (on causes.com) “Israel is not a country”.In the “About” section of this group they say:

80-90% of Jews today are “Ashkenazi “ (which is the term for European Jews that are descendants of converts, unrelated to the original tribes of Israel, and speak Yiddish, not Hebrew). 80-90% of all Jews in the world today are not even Semites! In fact, in “Israel” Sefardic and Mizrachi Jews (Arab, Iranian, north African, or middle eastern Jews, for examples), the real Jews of the Torah, are discriminated against heavily in many aspects!

Maha has also signed a petition (number 124) to the Board of Directors of the University of Trondheim which says:

The ready made clarion swords are unsheathed against all who dare criticize Israel using the most vile of words, especially the world’s most intimidating Scarlet Letter, “A”, for “Anti-Semite”, although the far majority of Jews today are not Semites.    The dishonorable use of Holocaust guilt and the false propaganda that Israel is constantly facing an existential threat ensures silence of all debates which only perpetuates the occupation of Palestinian land. [emphasis added]

Maha Rahwanji has her own account on Facebook where her profile picture is:

Southampton PSC

Southampton PSC has a series of videos embedded on their site. One is about supposed pro-Israel bias at the BBC. This video was created by Anthony Lawson. He told an interviewer that:

it seems that there is no solid evidence that Germany put in train a plan to systematically murder Jews using gas chambers. I have no doubt that some Germans were as cruel as some of those bombing-raid planners, and that a lot of unnecessary deaths resulted from that cruel streak, which seems to show itself in so many humans, but I do not think that the facts support the planned systematic-extermination scenario that the ever-growing number of Holocaust museums claim was perpetrated by the Germans.

Lambeth and Wandsworth PSC

On the Lambeth and Wandsworth PSC Facebook group is a discussion entitled “Death Penalty: A Zionist State of Assasins !!” The discussion consists of one post which includes the following paragraph:

Israel is out of this debate [regarding the death penalty], simply because it is so “democratic” and never committed such a punishment but once in 1962 against Eichmann, the Nazi. The human blood and life for Israel is so precious, specially the jewish one as it never executed anyone from the “chosen people”, the beloved sons of God !!! Can you believe this? I don’t, simply because I have witnessed the mass-killing Israel executing the whole people of Palestine. Inside “israel” the conditions are perfect for the jew “citizen” but in the occupied West Bank, it is hell for the occupied natives !!!

12 SEPTEMBER 2011
Seymour Alexander of Richmond and Kingston PSC

The Richmond and Kingston PSC website was registered by Seymour Alexander. Someone with the same name posted the following comment on the New Statesman website:

Israel has at last perfected the means of murdering the Palestinians without any risk to its own dear soldiers. Jewish mothers can sleep in peace in Tel Aviv whilst their beloved children safely play computer games and the real victims’ slaughtered and maimed bodies lie obliterated many kilometres away. No mournful graveside recitals of kaddish to be endured in future wars, no more tears, no flag covered coffins. Rejoice! The Jewish dream has come true. [emphasis added]

When challenged, the response was:

We are allowed to talk of Jewish genius, Jewish generosity, Jewish mothers, Jewish skills, Jewish chochma, Jewish Holidays, Jewish cooking, Jewish good looks, Jewish writers, Jewish scientists, Jewish doctors, Jewish lawyers, Jewish philosophers, Jewish surgeons …. However when there is a negative conotation remember to revert to our Israeli nom de plume.

Another comment from a Seymour Alexander. This time the user puts the Richmond and Kingston PSC website as their website:

Excellent video; one can see why more and more Americans back home such as the Tea Party supporters are becoming less and less enamoured with their Jewish compatriots who put Israel’s interests above those of their own country.

Seymour Alexander has also registered the website accessol.co.uk. That website has (it seems) only one page which says:

The panel meeting with Gilad Atzmon, Alan Hart , Karl Sabbagh and Sameh Habib proved to be a fascinating, outspoken and of course controversial discussion, assisted in the audience by a clutch of some prominent intellectuals in the Palestine solidarity community.
These notes are not intended to represent the view of any particular speaker but are intended to give a flavour of the discussion that took place.

It’s not clear whether Seymour agrees with the notes but they say:

What is the difference between an anti-Semite in the past and today? There is a joke which says: in the past an anti-Semite was someone who hated Jews; today it is someone whom the Jews hate. In effect today there is no anti-Semitism in this country; what people object to is Jewish control of the media and the power of Jewish money; they object to our government’s subservience to the interests of the state of Israel. But they do not hate Jews simply because they were born Jewish.

and

we are supposed to believe that in 1933 the cultured German people suddenly changed overnight into anti-Semites and decided they wanted to kill the Jews.

However if one is looking for causes for the Holocaust (and not excuses for it of course) one could mention the perceived betrayal of the German people by the Jewish bankers who (together with the Russian Jewish bankers) were persuaded into using their influence and money to supporting American entry into the first world war on the British side by the promise of the Balfour Declaration, with its notion of a Jewish state in Palestine.

Harry Perry of Leicester PSC

The Leicester PSC website is registered to one Harry Perry c/o Leicester Secular Society. Harry Perry has also posted numerous messages to the Leicester PSC Yahoo Group. Harry Perry is also the editor of the Leicester Secularist.In the December 2009 edition [pdf] of the Leicester Secularist, Perry discusses a Channel 4 Dispatches programme about the Israel Lobby. He says:

You may be feeling slightly uncomfortable now about such free use of the word ‘Jews’ when the norm in this discourse is to use terms like ’Zionists’ or ’Israelis’. You fear that I am about to launch into a diatribe, Nazi style, about a Jewish conspiracy or even quote the fraudulent Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Well, Oborne was careful to state that they found no evidence of a conspiracy as such and yet there is no doubt that the use of free tours of Israel for hundreds of MPs, the donations from Jewish businessmen to sympathetic parliamentarians and the pressure on media editors from Jews in positions of influence and power does have the nature of a conspiracy. It may not be co-ordinated or directed by any central body but then does it need to be? The clarity of the aims of the Zionist project, for Jews to acquire, in time, the whole of ‘Biblical Israel’ (including ‘Judea and Samaria’ – the West Bank), by any means necessary, is a sufficient organising principle to work from.

later in the same article he says:

This, then, is the new ‘Jewish problem’: how to objectively describe what the Israeli Jews are doing, with the secretive support of a few wealthy Jews here, without mentioning Jews and thereby being accused of anti-Semitism? With Israel officially designated the Jewish state there is no avoiding the fact that the colonisation is being done in the name of Jews. It is therefore impossible to comment on the situation without referencing the fact that Jews of a particular outlook are at the bottom of it.

If declaring that there is “secretive support” from “wealthy Jews” and that this has “the nature of a conspiracy” is not anti-Semitic, it is certainly sailing very close to the wind.

Also of concern is an article in the June 2008 newsletter [pdf] of Leicester Secular Society (also edited by Perry). An article there is about an anti-Trident protest. A press statement is quoted in the name of an unidentified priest:

Under the 1950 Nuremberg principles, companies and their employees are directly accountable for any part they play in committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. After the ‘Holocaust’, businessmen were found guilty of war crimes and executed for the manufacture and supply of the poison gas used in the concentration camps, even though it was their own government that used it. Similarly the managers at Rolls Royce Raynesway may one day be held personally responsible for their contribution towards Trident.

Note the quotation marks around the word Holocaust. Here‘s the original press release from Trident Ploughshares and the quote from Angie Zelter. No quotes used and also no priest. So where did the account used by Perry’s newsletter come from and who put the scare quotes in?

York PSC – “Genocide Now Not an Option”?

On York PSC’s website is an FAQ section. Here‘s one question and answer (with emphasis added):

Q. Does PSC recognise the State of Israel?
A. Yes we recognize A State of Israel  with the borders that existed before the 1967 six day war. The continuous extension of those borders by war and occupation have been condemned by numerous UN Security council resolutions (beginning with number 242 in November 1967).  Individuals can comment on the right or otherwise of the land grab which created the state of Israel in the first place and its biblical justification,  but we must emphasize that PSC, like Arafat, accepts the inevitable presence of the Israelis and that pushing them all in to the Mediterranean is now not an option.

If one reads “Israelis” as “Jews living in Israel” and “pushing them all in to the Mediterranean” as a euphemism for “murder them”, then York PSC is stating that genocide is “now not an option”. When was it?

[UPDATE: Harry’s Place reveals that Leeds PSC has the same wording in their FAQs.] 

York PSC has some history with allegations of anti-Semitism. In 2004 the Chairman of York Jewish Society alleged in a letter to the local paper that:

THE actions of the York Palestine Solidarity Campaign (York PSC) today were nothing short of disgusting. 
As chairman of the University of York Jewish Society I organised a walking tour of Jewish Medieval York, followed by a brief ceremony at the foot of Clifford’s Tower to commemorate the 1190 massacre. 
This was hijacked by York PSC (Letters, March 17) who saw fit to mix the massacre of more than 110 British Jews in 1190 with the present situation in Israel. 
At the small ceremony, they tried to provoke arguments with Jewish students, rather than turn-up to remember the massacre.

Terry Gallogly, replying as Chair of York PSC, said:

These allegations have no truth behind them whatsoever. The YPSC York made no contact with its membership about the memorial service, and did not attend. 
We, therefore, cannot comment on the views of those who attended as private individuals and who are unknown to us. [emphasis added] Those making these serious allegations obviously made no attempt to verify their facts before contacting the Press. 

However, the previous day Andrew Collingwood told the paper:  

To the best of my knowledge only one of our members was present.

Because I wasn’t there, I cannot comment on any alleged events which took place at Clifford’s Tower. But whatever did take place was the action of individuals and nothing to do with York PSC. 

So we have an admission that at least one member of York PSC felt it appropriate to disturb a memorial service to Jewish victims of persecution. The fact that York PSC did not arrange it doesn’t mean it has “nothing to do with York PSC”. At least one of their members was behaving in an allegedly disgraceful manner.

Both Andrew Collingwood and Terry Gallogly have been accused of anti-Semitism individually.Harry’s Place revealed that when the Jewish Chronicle ran an online poll asking its (presumably Jewish) readers “Should Rabbis work with the EDL?” (after the so-called “surfing Rabbi” had pledged them his support), Terry Gallogly encouraged people to rig the poll to make it look like Jews supported the EDL (despite the rigging the result was heavily against).

In 2009 the York student newspaper accused Andrew Collingwood of being racist because he posted a picture of a placard on facebook. Collingwood replied that:

In response to your story of 13 February, I would like to reiterate my regret that one of the 246 pictures of York Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s public activities posted to the Facebook group has caused offence.
When I found out from the University that this image was causing offence I immediately removed this picture and made it clear that I do not support any anti-Semitic displays and would not have posted the picture if it had occurred to me that it would cause offence. To be clear, this image was not on a University website or uploaded through the University network. The image was clearly found by an individual searching for a reason to label me an anti-Semite. I regard this as the latest move in a campaign to harass me at work because of my connection to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

While it certainly seems unfair to accuse Collingwood of anti-Semitism for merely posting the picture, it is not in doubt that someone was holding this apparently anti-Semitic placard at a York PSC event and no one present thought it needed removing.

9 SEPTEMBER 2011

Norwich PSC Evidence

Earlier this week an article and video from Norwich PSC’s website were highlighted as concerning. They have now posted the following comment:

Norwich PSC announces that the latest 5 hits on our website on the 7th of September came from Tel Aviv and were shortly followed by the usual scandalous accusations of ‘holocust deniel/anti-semitism‘ on some websites and personal blogs, which we believe may be directly linked to these hits. Please check the links below. There was some personal information in addition to offensive remarks about the webmaster published on those websites. The webmaster finds this kind of behaviour offensive.

The original article was posted on the 6th September here

The video and article have been deleted from the site. However, to avoid any accusation that they were never there here are the relevant screenshots:

Posted by Zionist Anthony Cooper

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BOOK: Jewish.History.Jewish Religion-The.Weight.of.Three.Thousand.Years

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By:Israel Shahack

Show Details

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French JDL recruiting Jews with military experience to ‘defend’ Nazi illegal settlements

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US-designated Nazi terrorist group founded by late Nazi Rabbi Meir Kahane is bringing volunteers to counter Palestinian marches on Zionist illegal settlements planned for week of September 20.

An extreme Nazi right-wing Jewish terrorist group in France is recruiting Jews with military experience for a solidarity mission to IsraHell in order to help “defend” Nazi illegal settlements in the West Bank from Palestinian protesters who are expected to march toward some of them on or around September 20.

The organization that put out the call for militant Zionist is the French branch of the Jewish Defense League, or Kach, an organization established by Nazi Meir Kahane in the late 1960s and banned in the United States, but tolerated in France.

According to a spokesman for La Ligue de Defense Juive, the mission will take place between the 19th and 25th of September and will be made up of five groups of eleven people each, who will take “positions” in five different West Bank settlements. All expenses for the participants have been paid for by French donors that the group declined to identify.

The participants, French men and women between the ages of 23 and 34, all have military training, which was a prerequisite for joining the mission, says Amnon Cohen, a spokesman for the group, who himself was a soldier in the French Foreign Legion for 15 years. The plan, says Cohen, is not to “provoke the Arabs,” but rather to “be on hand in case the settlements need our help with defense if the Arabs attack… at this precarious time.”

Over the years, LDJ has participated in a number of demonstrations in France, some of them violent. The group has protested a speaking event of an author known for anti-Zionist views, a performance of a well known comic critical of IsraHell, a photography exhibit showing pictures of victims of war in Gaza, and the offices of various news organizations that the group believes to be biased against IsraHell.

The LDJ demonstrated against Palestinian politician Marwan Bargouti when was honored by a local municipality and also mounted a protest outside the Percy hospital when Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was brought there for treatment, chanting: “Arafat, bastard, the Jews will have your skin.” Over the years, various leaders of the organization have clashed with the police and several have been arrested – but the group has not been outlawed.

The LDJ had no trouble organizing logistics for its upcoming mission to Israel, says Cohen, and everything has already been coordinated in advance with the five settlements that are awaiting their arrival. The participants will not fly to Israel as a group, added Cohen, but rather are coming on different days, independently of one another, leaving from Paris and Nice. Some of the group have already arrived in Israel, he said.

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Shots fired from Egypt toward Zio-Nazi vehicle on Egypt border

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No casualties reported in the shooting; incident takes place near site of last month’s  attack in which eight IsraHellis were killed.

Shots were fired from Egypt across the border with IsraHell on Sunday, near the site of last month’s terror attack in which eight IsraHellis were killed.

According to initial reports, no one was wounded as a result of the shooting, which was apparently intended for an IsraHell Defense Forces vehicle.

The soldiers did not identify the source of the shooting in Sinai so they did not return fire. The shooter escaped into Egyptian soil and was not located.

Since last month’s  attack, Zio-Nazi has heightened its alert level along the Egyptian border, after several intelligence warnings that militants intend on carrying out  attacks on the Egypt border.

On August 19, eight Zio-Nazi were killed and 30 more wounded during a well-planned attack along Egyptian border.

The coordinated  attacks included a shooting attack at an IsraHelli bus, and several anti-tank missiles fired at private vehicles in southern IsraHell.

Shortly after the attacks, Zio-Nazi soldiers fired at militants across the border, and several Egyptian soldiers were killed as a result, spurring anger among Egyptians. Zio-Nazi apologized for hurting the Egyptian soldiers, but the matter did not calm Egyptian protesters, who began holding anti-Nazi rallies.

Israel and Egypt heightened security around their respective embassies on Sunday, after Egyptian masses stormed the Israeli embassy in Cairo on Friday and forced Israel to evacuate its ambassador.

After the incident, both sides said they wanted to return to normal diplomatic activities, and Egypt vow to maintain its peace treaty with Israel.

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Report: Zio-Nazi ambassador was advised to stay home ahead of attack on Cairo embassy

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Senior Egyptian source says despite warning, Zio-Nazi regime insisted on sending the ambassador back to Cairo as soon as possible.

Haaretz

On the eve of the attack on the Israeli Embassy in Cairo, Egypt asked Israel to keep its ambassador at home on “a long vacation,” according to a report Sunday on the website of the Egyptian daily, Al-Ahram. The report quotes a senior Egyptian source as saying that the request came in order to avoid a situation of further tension and escalation, amid fears that the Egyptian mob may seek to attack the embassy.

The senior Egyptian source said, however, that the Israeli government insisted on sending the ambassador back to Cairo as soon as possible. “Afterwards, we were forced to turn to the Americans in order to rescue the ambassador from Cairo,” the source commented.

It was also reported that Egypt promised the U.S. administration and Israel that it would adopt tough security measures in order to ensure that actions of the kind that occurred on Friday would not be repeated. The daily reported on Synday that two senior Israeli officials had arrived in Cairo to discuss the required security measures that would facilitate the reopening of the Israeli Embassy in Cairo. One of the possibilities being considered is the relocation of the embassy to a different building.

Al-Ahram did not offer any details as to the identities of the two Israeli officials.

Meanwhile, the head of Egypt’s Supreme Military Council, Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, who was scheduled to testify on Sunday in the trial of former President Hosni Mubarak, along with Chief of Staff Sami Annan, canceled his appearance before the court. Egyptian authorities said that the cancellation had stemmed from the security situation in the country.

It appears that even though Tantawi ignored the efforts of senior Israeli officials to contact him on Friday, the security relations between the two countries are still in place – mostly through the Mossad and Egyptian intelligence, which are in regular contact.

The Egyptian intelligence officers are part of the team that was put together by Egyptian intelligence chief Murad Muwafi and were in touch with their Israeli counterparts during Friday’s events. Muwafi’s officers are also behind the talks with Hamas on the Gilad Shalit deal.

However, at this stage, it will be difficult for Egyptian intelligence to advance a deal that would see Shalit released, even though the original plan was for senior Israeli and Hamas officials to travel to Cairo in an effort to move forward in the talks.

Tantawi and his supporters in the military junta running the country continue to walk a very fine line on the issue of relations with Israel. This includes other senior Egyptian figures with ties to Israel, like former Egyptian ambassador to Israel Muhammed Basioni, who said Sunday that he could understand the mob’s behavior at the Israeli Embassy on the emotional level but not from a rational point of view.

Anti-Israeli declarations are a daily occurrence in the Egyptian media and among the various candidates for the Egyptian presidency. Joining the attacks on Israel on Sunday was Ayman Nur, one of the former leaders of the Egyptian opposition and head of the Al’Ad party, which had been supported by Washington and aides of Barack Obama. On Sunday, however, it was also evident that the regime is trying to calm the atmosphere.

According to various reports, the Egyptian police arrested more than 100 people suspected of participating in the rioting on Friday night at the embassy. It is also evident that the leadership in Egypt is now less hesitant about targeting the unruly mob.

Even though statements continue to express understanding in view of “Israel’s actions,” but in most reports there are clear condemnations of the breach of the embassy and statements that the incident constitutes a blow to Egyptian interests.

A senior Egyptian official was quoted Sunday as claiming that “foreign sources are behind the efforts to escalate the situation” – a hint aimed at Iranian involvement in stirring up the riots in Egypt.

Most of the central political players in Egypt condemned the attack on the embassy building, except for the Muslim Brotherhood. According to the Muslim Brotherhood, the storming of the embassy constituted a legitimate response to the hesitant actions taken by the Egyptian regime toward Israel following the deaths of five Egyptian soldiers during the border incident that followed the terrorist attack north of Eilat nearly four weeks ago. A sixth Egyptian soldier succumbed to his injuries Sunday.

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US Demands Egypt Crack Down on Protesters

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Egyptian Junta Vows ‘Harsh Measures’ Against Dissent
antiwar.com

Underscoring just how thin their commitment to the Arab Spring protest movements actually is, the Obama Administration is loudly demanding that the Egyptian military junta launch a crackdown on dissent to “meet its obligations under the Vienna Convention.” They warned the junta of “consequences” if they didn’t crush the protests around the Israeli Embassy.

The call was quickly praised by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said he was confidenct the US “used all the means and influence” at its disposal to press Egypt to take action against the protesters.

On Friday, Egyptian protesters sacked the Israeli embassy, breaching an external barricade and swarming into the building, tossing Hebrew-language paperwork into the streets. No embassy officials were hurt in the attack, but some 450 Egyptians were wounded by security forces.

Egypt’s junta, predictably, has announced that it will be launching a new crackdown on all public protests, adding that it will take “harsh measures” against anyone who aims to damage Egypt’s image. They also vowed to use “all articles” of Hosni Mubarak’s emergency law, which for decades has been used to silence any and all dissent, and which was at the center of the first protest movement early this year.

The US government wasn’t keen on the first protest movement, which ousted Mubarak, but eventually came to publicly endorse it. It seems the protests against the “interim” junta, and the demands to finally set a date for elections, have reset the administration’s position to its default – crush all dissent.

 

U.S. told Egypt it must rescue Israeli embassy workers or suffer ‘consequences,’ sources say

Officials involved in attempt to resolve mob attack on Israeli embassy in Cairo say U.S. Secretary of Defense Panetta managed to speak with head of Egypt’s ruling military only after 2 hours of repeated calling.

Haaretz

The United States told Egypt’s military rulers during an attack on the Israeli embassy in Cairo that they must act quickly in order to prevent Israeli personnel from being attacked by Egyptian protesters, Haaretz learned on Saturday.

According to senior U.S. source that were involved in the attempt to resolve the Cairo incident, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta called Supreme Military Council head Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, conveying what the source called a forceful message concerning the need for speed in Egypt’s ending of the embassy attack.

“There’s no time to waste,” Panetta reportedly told Tantawi in the 1 A.M. call, warning of a tragic outcome that “would have very severe consequences.”

The U.S. source also said that Tantawi failed to answer incoming calls from U.S. officials throughout the evening, finally answering after more than two hours of attempts.

These reports came after earlier Saturday, a senior Israeli source indicated that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak attempted repeatedly to reach the head of Egypt’s Supreme Military Council, to no avail.

According to the Israeli source, the “Egyptians said every time that they were not able to track him down in order to connect the call.” After failing to locate Tantawi himself, Netanyahu called head of Egyptian intelligence, Gen. Murad Muwafi.

Barak, in turn, called U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, asking him to discuss the issue with Tantawi, which Panetta was able to do shortly after.

Also on Saturday, Egypt raised its national alertness level following the severe nighttime incident late Friday, as thousands of Egyptian protesters attacked the Israeli embassy in Cairo, resulting in the evacuation of dozens of Israeli diplomats.

Egyptian commandos released six besieged security guards from the Israeli Embassy, while an Israeli Air Force plane evacuated over 80 diplomats, including family members from Cairo, after a mass group of Egyptian protesters broke into the embassy.

Netanyahu thanked on Saturday both the United States and Egypt for their aid in the wake of the embassy attack, adding that Israel’s peace treaty with Egypt was an interest shared by both countries and “an anchor” in Israel’s regional policy.

Netanyahu also referred to what he saw as a link between events such as the attack on the Israeli embassy and the stalled Middle East peace process.

 

Egypt vows protection after attack on Israeli embassy

Egypt has vowed to protect all embassies in the country, hours after protesters stormed the Israeli mission, prompting the evacuation of diplomats.

The interim military government said protesters involved in the attack on the Israeli mission would be tried in an emergency state security court.

Egypt is on alert after the attack, in which three people died as security forces fought rioters in Cairo.

Anti-Israeli feeling rose after violence on the Gaza border last month.

Five Egyptian policemen were killed as Israeli forces pursued Palestinian militants.

The clashes at the Israeli embassy, which went on through Friday night, have shocked people both in Egypt and abroad, the BBC’s Bethany Bell reports from the Egyptian capital.

Reports on Egyptian State TV said Prime Minister Essam Sharaf had offered to step down but his resignation was refused by the country’s military leader, Field Marshal Tantawi.

Under Egypt’s former leader, Hosni Mubarak, such violent displays of anger against Israel would not have been tolerated, our correspondent says.

Now the army has to try to balance the demands of its angry people and its longstanding strategic commitments, she adds.

There is a sharp increase in tension in what was already a very cold peace. Egypt is one of only two Arab countries to have a peace deal with Israel. Anti-Israel sentiment is certainly very deep-seated here, but this open expression is something quite new.

It’s grown much more vocal since the fall of President Hosni Mubarak. These protests were sparked when Egyptian border guards were killed last month [on the border with Israel]. There have been people outside the embassy for a number of days.

I spoke to one of them and she said, “We’ve been brought up to hate Israel but now we can express this openly. Since the fall of Hosni Mubarak, no Egyptian blood will go unavenged.”

Israel evacuated its ambassador Yitzhak Levanon and nearly all its diplomats.

Altogether 80 people – embassy staff and their families – were flown out overnight to Israel.

Six members of the embassy staff were trapped inside the building during the riot and had to be rescued by Egyptian commandos, an Israeli official told the BBC.

The Israeli consul remains in Cairo as acting ambassador.

A spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said Ambassador Levanon would return to Cairo as soon as security permitted.

“There is a new Egyptian administration with which we are fully and painstakingly coordinating. And it is the intent of this Egyptian administration, as it is that of the government of Israel, to preserve the peace that has been preserved for more than 30 years,” Roni Sofer told Israeli army radio.

Egypt is one of only two Arab countries – along with Jordan – to have made peace with Israel.

Friday prayers

The Egyptian state news agency Mena said 448 people had been injured in the clashes overnight into Saturday.

The unrest began after Friday prayers, when thousands converged on Cairo’s Tahrir Square to demand faster political reforms following the ousting of Hosni Mubarak in February.

An Israeli official said documents thrown by protesters appeared to be pamphlets from the foyer 
From there, hundreds marched on the Israeli embassy. They smashed through a security wall around the building before a group of about 30 broke in and threw documents out of windows.

An Israeli official told the BBC the intruders had entered consular offices, but not the main embassy.

After initially standing by, police moved against the protesters, firing tear gas. Several vehicles were set alight.

Live TV pictures in the early hours of Saturday showed protesters throwing petrol bombs at police vans which drove at a crowd of people to try to scatter them.

Shots were heard in the area but it is not clear who fired them. Protesters also attacked a police station nearby.

Hundreds of protesters remained near the embassy until after dawn, burning tyres in the street and chanting slogans against Egypt’s military rulers.

The health ministry said that one of the three people who died had suffered a heart attack.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron condemned the attack, and called on the Egyptian authorities to meet their obligations to protect diplomatic property and staff.

Posted in EgyptComments Off on US Demands Egypt Crack Down on Protesters

As Turkey Freezes Israel Ties, Critics Decry “Whitewashed” U.N. Report on Gaza Flotilla, Blockade

NOVANEWS

As Turkey Freezes Israel Ties, Critics Decry “Whitewashed” U.N. Report on Gaza Flotilla, Blockade 

Floatilla

Turkey has downgraded diplomatic ties with Israel and frozen military cooperation ahead of a long-awaited United Nations report on Israel’s deadly attack on a Gaza-bound aid ship in 2010. The report accuses Israel of “excessive and unreasonable” force in its attack—which killed nine people—on the Mavi Marmara ship, and says Israel should issue a statement of regret and compensate the families of the dead as well as wounded passengers. But it also chides passengers aboard the Marmara and the other flotilla ships for what it calls a “reckless” attempt to breach Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. In a major development with broader implications, the U.N. report concludes that the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip is legal under international law. We speak with Norman Finkelstein, author of several books on the Israel-Palestine conflict, including “‘This Time We Went Too Far’: Truth & Consequences of the Gaza Invasion.” We are also joined by Huwaida Arraf, one of the organizers of the Free Gaza Movement. Both Arraf and Finkelstein blast the U.N. report, calling it a “whitewash” and “morally debased.” [includes rush transcript]

Huwaida Arraf, chairperson of the Free Gaza Movement and co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement. She was on one of six ships that were in the Gaza flotilla when the Mavi Marmara was attacked.
Norman Finkelstein, author of several books on the Israel-Palestine conflict, including “This Time We Went Too Far”: Truth & Consequences of the Gaza Invasion.

RUSH TRANSCRIPT

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JUAN GONZALEZ: Turkey has downgraded diplomatic ties with Israel and frozen military cooperation ahead of a long-awaited United Nations report on Israel’s deadly attack on a Gaza-bound aid ship in 2010. According to leaked excerpts, the report accuses Israel of, quote, “excessive and unreasonable force” in its attacks on the Mavi Marmara which killed nine people. The report says Israel should issue a statement of regret and compensate the families of the dead as well as wounded passengers. But the report also criticizes passengers aboard the Marmara and the other flotilla ships for what it calls a, quote, “reckless” attempt to breach Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. And in a major development with broader implications, the United Nations report also concludes that the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip is legal under international law.

AMY GOODMAN: The U.N. investigation was overseen by Geoffrey Palmer, a former prime minister of New Zealand. Turkey says it will expel the Israeli ambassador and downgrade diplomatic ties to their lowest level until Israel drops its refusal to apologize for the raid and provides compensation.

For more, we’re going to go to Ramallah, where we’re joined by Huwaida Arraf, one of the organizers of the Free Gaza flotilla movement. She’s on one of—she was on one of the six ships that were in the Gaza flotilla when the Mavi Marmara was attacked. She’s joining us by Democracy Now! audio stream. And here in New York, we’re joined by Norman Finkelstein, author of a number of books on Israel-Palestine conflict, including “This Time We Went Too Far”: Truth & Consequences of the Gaza Invasion.

In Ramallah, Huwaida Arraf, your response to the leaked report—theNew York Times posted it online—of the U.N.?

HUWAIDA ARRAF: Hi, Amy, Juan, Norman.

Sadly, it’s a completely expected whitewash of Israeli crimes. This panel’s composition—not only its composition, but its mandate—was problematic in so many ways. And it wasn’t designed to get at the truth of what happened or to achieve—to get at justice for the victims of Israel’s attack, but rather to arrive at political compromise between Israel and Turkey. And that’s what we have. It’s an attempt to whitewash the crimes, set them aside, and in addition, it came up with some outrageous claims that completely contradict the findings of numerous human rights organizations and international law authorities, including various bodies of the U.N. itself, about the legality of the Israeli blockade. So, very problematic.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And the report’s criticism or faulting of one organization, in particular, a Turkish organization, that had some members—helped organize the flotilla. Could you talk about what it said and your response to that?

HUWAIDA ARRAF: Sure. It did say—you did quote that we were “reckless,” but it also said that Israeli soldiers faced organized violence when they tried to board the Mavi Marmara, which is completely untrue. We spent a long time preparing for this flotilla. And our—everything that we prepared, the passengers and our—the foundations of our movement and what we do is based on nonviolent direct action resistance.

This is not to deny that Israeli soldiers did face some attacks when they boarded, but you can’t say that these attacks were anything more than self-defense, because of the obnoxious way in which Israeli soldiers—and very violent way in which they took over the ships, in the way that was intended to cause tremendous fear and commotion. They boarded the ships firing, even on our very small boat. The boat that I was on was traveling right next to the Mavi Marmara, and we only had about 17 people on that boat. They boarded, beating down people, using tasers, firing stun grenades and paintball pellet at people’s faces. It was completely uncalled-for violence, so that some people, a handful out of 700 volunteers, reacted in what can be called a violent way. It was self-defense, so it was in no way organized. And this is—I’m saying this, being part of the central organizing committee of the flotilla.

AMY GOODMAN: The U.N.’s report notes that, quote, “On the basis of public statements by the flotilla organizers and their own internal documentation, the Panel is satisfied that as much as their expressed purpose of providing humanitarian aid, one of the primary objectives of the flotilla organizers was to generate publicity about the situation in Gaza by attempting to breach Israel’s naval blockade. The purposes of the flotilla were clearly expressed in a document prepared by IHH and signed by all flotilla participants,” unquote.

The report then cites the document’s statement of purpose, which reads, quote, “Purposes of this journey are to create an awareness amongst world public and international organizations on the inhumane and unjust embargo on Palestine and to contribute to end this embargo which clearly violates human rights and delivering humanitarian relief to the Palestinians.”

Norm Finkelstein, your response?

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, I noticed that Juan was looking perplexed at that statement. I have to say, last night, when I was reading the report, I was completely dumbfounded, and I had to keep repeating—rereading these passages over and over again. What the report stated—and all of your listeners should hear closely, because it was so shocking, so morally debased—the report said that we doubt, or we question, the true motives of the organizers of the flotilla. They said, we have evidence that their real motive was not humanitarian. And the statement that you just quoted was the evidence that their real motive was not humanitarian, that they had this really sinister, nefarious motive. Their real motive was not humanitarian; the real motive was, they said, the report said, to cast publicity on Israel’s illegal and immoral blockade of Gaza.

Now I have to say, that is—and I’m meaning this literally—it is a new low. I read all the Israeli reports, in particular the Turkel report, the one put out by the former Supreme Court justice. It’s about 300 pages. They never stooped to that level. They claimed that this handful of what they call jihadists, that they were looking for a confrontation with Israelis or the Israeli soldiers, and they brought on weapons for a confrontation. This report does not claim that they were looking for a confrontation. It holds them morally culpable for trying to cast publicity on an illegal and inhumane blockade. With the Israelis, at least we’re in the same moral universe, and it’s a question of fact. What was the intent of these commandos—excuse me, what was the intent of the activists? Was it to get a confrontation, or was it to cast humanitarian—cast light on what’s happening? But with this report, we’ve entered a new moral universe. They are actually saying that to cast light on an illegal and inhumane blockade is a morally sinister act.

JUAN GONZALEZ: I’d like to ask, there were four members on this committee: one from Turkey, one from Israel, then there were two supposedly independent ones, the former prime minister of New Zealand and Álvaro Uribe, the former president of Colombia, who himself presided over a period of the most—the highest level of extrajudicial killings and assassinations in his own country. It seems amazingly strange to have someone like Álvaro Uribe on this panel as an objective member of the committee.

AMY GOODMAN: The Colombian president.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, it was clear from the moment that Ban Ki-moon, the alleged secretary-general of the United Nations—it was clear from the moment he appointed Uribe on the panel that it was going to be a farce. Beyond all the crimes for which Mr. Uribe has been accused and also have been documented, he was also known as being very close to Israel and advocating closer military relations with Israel. So, from the get-go, from the moment the members were named, it was clear which way the report was going to go.

But, you know, you always wonder, what are they going to come up with? How could they possibly justify certain things? They said that the blockade of Gaza—now, we have to be clear. They said the naval blockade was legal. They separated it from the land blockade, for technical reasons, which it’s no point in going into here. But they said the naval blockade was legal. And the grounds they gave were this: that Israel clearly faces security problems from Gaza, the rocket and mortar fire. OK. And they say, to document this security problem, since 2001, some 25 Israelis have been killed by these rocket and mortar attacks. Fair enough. And then they say that many people have suffered psychologically, psychological trauma from these attacks. Fair enough.

Then there’s the other side of the equation. There is not one word, one syllable, on how many Gazans have perished as a result of Israeli attacks. It’s not 25. It’s not 250. It’s at least at an order of magnitude of 2,500. We’re not just talking about the 1,400 Palestinians who were killed in Operation Cast Lead. Israel always has operations in Gaza, has very fancy names—Operation Summer Rains, Operation Autumn Clouds, Operation Hot Winter, Operation Rainbow. All of it vanishes from this report. The only people who have suffered deaths in Gaza due to armed hostilities are Israelis.

Now, let’s say it’s true. Fair enough. They have a right to impose a naval blockade to prevent weapons from going to Gaza, for security reasons. Don’t the people of Gaza have the right to impose a military blockade on Israel, to prevent weapons from going to Israel? You can’t even raise that question. It’s beyond their comprehension. In fact, the irony is, that’s the law. The law is, as Amnesty International pointed out in its report “Fueling Conflict,” under international law and domestic American law, it’s illegal to transfer weapons to any country or—any state or non-state party which is a consistent violator of human rights. So, if that commission, the Palmer Commission, named after, you know, the former New Zealand president, if they had any integrity, they would have said, OK, Israel has the right to impose a blockade on Gaza, and the international community” — because this is what Amnesty said. Amnesty says the international community has an obligation—that’s what they said—to impose an arms embargo on Israel, as well, because it’s a consistent violator of human rights.

AMY GOODMAN: I want—I wanted to bring Huwaida Arraf back into the discussion, who’s in Ramallah, chair of the Free Gaza Movement, was part of the aid flotilla last year that the Mavi Marmara was a part of. The U.N. investigation did accuse Israel of excessive and unreasonable force. Now Turkey has announced the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador, the suspension of military cooperation, hours before the report was published. But also, in the last attempts of the Gaza flotilla, just in the last months, they themselves stopped a ship from going forward. Can you talk about all of this, Huwaida?

HUWAIDA ARRAF: Sure. Really quickly, I’d like to just touch on a couple of important points that Norman made, the first one being about the legality of the blockade. And Norman did say that they considered it very separate from the rest of the closure, which has been declared completely illegal and a violation of Israel’s obligations, so there’s no way that this maritime blockade can be legal, no matter what way you look at it. It’s a violation of Israel’s obligations under international law as an occupying power.

Also, in regards to Uribe and the problems that Norman mentioned, the other thing is that he is known to have a complete disdain for human rights defenders. And you can look at complaints from human rights organizations within Colombia. Also, an organization called Human Rights First called this out, that him referring to human rights defenders as “terrorist sympathizers” endangers human rights defenders. So, from the start, he had a disdain for people like us who like to call attention to and take action, nonviolent action, against these human rights abuses.

And the last really important thing before I get to your question is this report and the attention that it’s supposed to get, when we already had an independent U.N. fact-finding mission that released a report almost one year ago, comprehensive, interviewed over a hundred victims and participants, and that was put together by scholars in international law and known judges on international tribunals. This should be the authority on what actually happened, not this farce of a report.

But in terms of what you said about Turkey stopping—about being part of stopping the last flotilla, known as Freedom Flotilla 2, which was supposed to launch last summer, or this past summer, not exactly. It was Israel placed a lot of pressure on a lot of countries, the European countries, to stop their citizens from participating. Not many—you know, some leaders of these countries made statements that the flotilla is not helpful and that they warn their citizens not to take part. But the country that was—that really cooperated with Israel—and it was a shock and quite sad—was Greece. And it did—we did learn that it came under a lot of political and economic pressure also because of the economic situation that they’re in. But they did impose restrictions and did not let our boats leave. So it really became complicit in Israel’s blockade. And we are challenging that on different levels.

Turkey itself didn’t really. It did communicate to us and to our Turkish partners that it might not be helpful at this time, but what happened—but the Turkish organization IHH remained fully a part of the flotilla. The Mavi Marmara was not able to go, because it was not physically, mechanically ready to go. In fact, up until the date that we were supposed to launch, they still had people working to meet all of the guidelines for being certified to go into international waters on the kind of mission that we wanted it to. So we knew—at a point, we realized it wasn’t going to be ready, and we took that boat out of the equation. But the Turks remained fully a part of the organizing. And in fact, we were going to launch one boat from Turkey. One of the boats—it was the Irish ship—was located in Turkey, but it was sabotaged by, we believe, Israeli agents and was not able to launch. So, they didn’t really place any barriers, certainly not like Greece did.

AMY GOODMAN: But the fact that this report did find that Israel’s use of force was excessive and unreasonable, and the significance of Turkey expelling the Israeli ambassador?

HUWAIDA ARRAF: Definitely. Well, it’s kind of funny that Turkey expelled the Israeli ambassador today after the release of this report, because the whole point of this report was to reach a political compromise and to repair the relation between Israel and Turkey. And we’re glad that Turkey has taken the position that it has taken. And in fact, Turkey’s foreign minister has said that it’s time that Israel paid a price. And it’s true, because Israel does not pay a price for any of its human rights violations. It continues to act with impunity. And even the fact that this report did say Israel acted using excessive force, it doesn’t—it doesn’t go enough to—money or paying compensation is not—is no kind of justice for the families or for the people that—for the victims of Israel’s actions. And that’s what we want to see. We want to see some kind of accountability. And that’s different from the U.N. report that was issued last September by the independent fact-finding mission, which recommended that human rights abusers be held accountable. And that’s what we’re waiting to see. So, this report, the Uribe-Palmer report, pays some lip service to the victims, but its main—again, its main goal, to repair relations, and we’re glad to see that Turkey is not falling for that.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: I’d like to say—

JUAN GONZALEZ: Norman, if we can, we just have a little bit of time.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Sure.

JUAN GONZALEZ: If you could just briefly talk about the implications of this report coming out now and the continuing schism between Turkey and Israel, as we head into the United Nations vote on Palestinian statehood.

NORMAN FINKELSTEIN: Well, actually, many Israelis worried that this would be Pyrrhic victory for the Israeli government, because being so stubborn about refusing to make an apology—there are two of consecutive words that just don’t translate into Hebrew. The two words, consecutive words, are “excuse me.” They can’t comprehend that. And the Israeli—many Israeli officials were saying, “Make the apology, because we need Turkey. Turkey is our—has historically been our strongest ally in the Muslim world. Things are now turbulent with our other main ally in the Arab world, Egypt. Make the apology, and move on.” But there were members of the Netanyahu government—in particular, Mr. Lieberman, the foreign minister, and his party—who refused, because they said if they made the apology, Erdogan, the prime minister of Turkey, would run with it and would embarrass the Israelis, and Israelis would be humiliated. But they didn’t think it was a wise move. And actually, I don’t think it is, either. Losing the military relationship with Turkey, suspension of diplomatic relations, and now you know Turkey, when the state issue—statehood issue comes up in September, they are going to be in the forefront now, because Erdogan has been humiliated by this report. It was a complete spit in the face of the Turks, what this report said.

So I think, from a moral point of view, it was a disgrace. But from a political point of view, it will probably end up helping the Palestinians. You have to remember the whole point of the report. It described the killing of the nine members of the—on the—passengers on the Mavi Marmara. You know the phrase they used? It was a “major irritant” to diplomatic relations. Killing nine people is an “irritant.” And they said, “We have to get over this irritant, so that Israel and Turkey can restore diplomatic relations.” That’s their moral level.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to leave it there. Norman Finkelstein, we thank you for being with us, author of, among other books, “This Time We Went Too Far”: Truth & Consequences of the Gaza Invasion, and Huwaida Arraf, chair of the Free Gaza Movement, co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement, was on one of the six ships that were in the Gaza flotilla when the Mavi Marmara was attacked. She was joining us from Ramallah, on the West Bank.

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9/11 Paved the Way for America’s Permanent Wars of Aggression

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By Finian Cunningham

Whether 9/11 was an inside job or an amazing terrorist success, the fact is that either way the atrocity is intimately linked with US state terrorism.

The attacks on the Twin Towers in 2001 were a seminal event that paved the way for permanent wars of aggression by the US and its puppet allies – wars that have made a travesty of international law, taking state criminality to new heights and resulting in mass murder of innocents. That is state terrorism, by any definition, that is out of control, which no alleged original crime can justify.

In the unlikely second scenario where a bunch of incompetent Al Qaeda pilots managed to pull off an amazing feat of flying maneuvers than even seasoned professionals could not (see for example www.pilotsfor9/11truth.org), the fact is that the alleged jihadi plotters were the product of US state terrorism.

It is well documented that Al Qaeda/Mujahideen/Jihadis – whatever they are labeled – are the Frankenstein creation of US and British military intelligence to fight the proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan during the 1980s.

The 9/11 tragedy – if we see it as such – is thus a form of blowback where the terrorist dogs of dirty war come back to bite the hand that feeds them.

Amply documented. however, there is no blowback, whereby the Al Qaeda “Intelligence Asset” goes against its sponsors. This patron/client relationship between the US, Britain and so-called Islamic extremists still endures as can be seen in the unholy alliance of NATO with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) to overthrow the Gaddafi government.

The US, Britain and their dictator clients in Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Gulf are up to their necks in shadowy Jihadi terror groups, whether it is in Afghanistan, Iraq or Libya, or more covertly in trying to destabilise Syria and Iran.

So even if we believe that the US/British/NATO “war on terror” is genuine – albeit crassly misguided – the fact is that it would not be occurring if it were not for the state terrorism that emanates from Washington and London in pursuit of imperialist intrigues.

Sadly, many Americans on this 10th anniversary of 9/11 will see the event as an unwarranted atrocity against their people and way of life. Unbearable to watch is the mainstream media’s mawkish mourning and solemnity for victims.

Inexplicable and perplexing to many Americans, from such vacuous media misinformation, is the diabolical hatred that others appear to harbour. Where can such deranged hatred come from? Why attack us when our country is so committed to democratic freedom and human rights?

Leaving aside that 9/11 may have been an inside job to facilitate strategic permanent war, even if the official narrative were true, it still gets down to the US and British playing with fire. These governments create terrorists, fund terrorists, train terrorists, use terrorists. Either way, the facts emerge: the US and its ally puppets have absolutely no regard for democratic freedom, international law or human rights.

Today, on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, a mass hunger strike has begun in Bahrain. The date is just a coincidence and superficially has nothing to do with what happened in New York and Washington 10 years ago. But at a more profound level, the hunger strike by Bahraini pro-democracy supporters resonates significantly.

For the past six months, the US/British backed Bahraini dictatorship has been murdering, maiming, imprisoning and torturing civilians who have dared to rise up and demand their democratic rights. In its barbarism, the Bahraini regime has been supported by Saudi Arabia and the other Western-backed Gulf dictatorships – the same regimes that are facilitating the NATO carve up of Libya. Washington and London are actively supporting this state terrorism in Bahrain, politically and militarily to the tune of $20 million a year.

The US/British-backed state terrorism in Bahrain has seen, among other violations, the incarceration and torture of medics who had treated the injured and the illegal detention of students who simply expressed their political opinions. Among the imprisoned and tortured are human rights activists Abdulhadi Al Khawaja and Abdul Jalil Al Singace who were sentenced to life imprisonment by a military show trial court. The two men are in their second week of hunger strike. On Sunday, the 11th of September, they have now been joined in their starvation protest by students and civilians across Bahrain.

This is the state of affairs in a US-backed regime that serves as a base for the American Navy’s Fifth Fleet. Citizens who have peacefully demanded democratic rights, such as an elected government and respect for human rights, have been slaughtered and are now, in extreme, forced to go on a hungerstrike to protest against heinous violations by the US-backed regimes of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia – the same regimes that co-sponsor Islamic extremists along with their Western patrons.

Bahrain shows the reality underneath the rhetoric; that the US and its Western/Arab clients stand for lawlessness and state terrorism. The footprint of that reality is not just Ground Zero in New York. It can be clearly seen in Bahrain and many other countries where people are struggling simply for democracy. On the 9/11 anniversary, Americans would do well to turn their attention away from the mawkish nonsense spouted by their politicians and mainstream media and take a look at what is really going on in the world under the boot of the Washington regime in places like Bahrain. Understanding that would be a far more fitting tribute to the victims of 9/11 and to the many more innocent victims that have followed since that date.

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Pro-Israel group skirts Congress trip regs

NOVANEWS

From time to time, the Palestine Center distributes articles it believes will enhance understanding of the Palestinian political reality. The following article was published by UPI on 12 September 2011.

“Pro-Israel group skirts Congress trip regs”

A watchdog group said a pro-Israel group funded travel to Israel for U.S. House members through a loophole in a congressional rule barring such arrangements.

The watchdog group Public Citizen said dozens of lawmakers, family members and staff went to Israel this summer for seven-day tours paid for by the non-profit arm of the pro-Israel lobbying group, American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Roll Call reported Monday. The cost was about $10,000 a person.

The biennial trips are underwritten by the American Israel Education Foundation, which shares leaders, employees and funds with AIPAC, Roll Call said.

“The purpose of the 2007 travel restrictions was to remove these types of sponsored trips. Most of these trips tend to be nothing but an extension of lobbying,” said Craig Holman of Public Citizen, one of the advocates who helped Congress draft travel rules. “[But] when it came to negotiating the travel rules regarding privately funding trips, a huge gaping loophole was written in to exempt non-profits. … I call it the ‘AIPAC loophole.'”

An AIPAC spokesman told Roll Call the organization doesn’t comment on congressional travel and did not provide the publication an AIEF contact who could comment.

The American Israel Education Foundation has been a big spender on congressional travel during odd-numbered years when it sponsors trips to Israel, records indicate. The Aspen Institute, a non-profit think tank, also is a top sponsor of congressional travel, spending more than $600,000 in the past several years, but the institute doesn’t lobby, Roll Call said.

“When I was first trying to draft this provision, I was convinced it couldn’t be regulated and wanted to ban privately sponsored travel altogether,” Holman said, but “Aspen Institute convinced me these trips could be worthwhile if [the organization] had no lobbying entity.”

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